New for Friday August 29 2008
Final DNC installment
Chef Guillaume Depprodomé presents
COOKING WITH PEPPER SPRAY
"Cooking with the pepper spray, you will find it is a success. (kisses hands) Even coverage is always a guarantee due to button applicator, and it works as a decent marinade with poultry or lamb, or sprinkled on salad ... Best for the picante lover in the family. Buy a bottle and surprise them with the next meal."
[skit ends with Chef Depprodomé doused]
Welcome to Denver, part five, conclusion -- The Pot and Anger Run on Inesco Field
It's almost thematically perfect that the last planned event of DNC protests is a pot rally. Ah, sweet heaven. This week has been extremely stressful and exhausting and a rally dedicated to marijuana certainly hits the spot. It's also thematically perfect that I'm completely running late for the thing. It's 1:52 and the pot rally in support of medical marijuana was scheduled to begin at 1:15. Of course, in good humor, I'm not exactly expecting it to begin on clockwork itself, either.
But continuing to act like a dope, I also arrive at the completely wrong spot in town. I'm not even high. But I'm beginning to feel so, as there are a few kids out here who had the same outdated location information, but took steps to arrive pre-medicated. Like most pot threats, they're eating burritos WITHOUT napkins. Making a phonecall I soon find the correct address (twenty blocks away), but it's not before I see a young kid stumbling down the street, stoned as a kite, saying to no one: "Look at all the stoners out here today, it's beautiful man ... JUST beautiful ..."
I'm also trying to find the recreate68 rally march on Inesco Field, the football stadium where Obama will accept the Democratic nomination tonight. Jesus, Obama pisses me off. These public speeches fill me with so much assassination anxiety that I can't even go into detail on it. I'm convinced he's done some strange soul searching and is just as comfortable at being killed and becoming a martyr (which is the real lottery ticket winner, legacy-wise) as he would be surviving and possibly becoming a president, which would require a lot more work for half the payoff. What else explains these stupid outdoor appearances. One hopes tonight's speech is the last coliseum stunt he pulls, but somehow I doubt it. Anyway, in a final 'action' recreate68 is once again storming the castle, with a planned march on Inesco. My phonecall informs me that both them and the pot people are sharing a permit at Lincoln Park and will be marching together. Guess we'll see how well that will mix.
I arrive about 2:30 to a park full of pot smoke and a genuinely great mellowed feeling. This is NICE out here. You can feel everyone is high. Many are dressed in theme costumes with pot leaf hats. One person is walking around as a human-sized bong. There are dogs, food, and frisbees. The great pot threat confirms once again the evils of this brain-rotting poison. People are even napping.
Soon a guy with a megaphone and about seventy marijuana leaf buttons on his shirt starts barking: "PEOPLE GATHER YOUR BELONGINGS. AFTER THIS SONG WE ARE GOING TO BE MARCHING. THIS IS A NON-VIOLENT DEMONSTRATION IN SUPPORT OF POT AND MEDICAL MARIJUANA!" - He continues to repeat this statement to all the zonked mass. A couple marchers need multiple reminders, and some others need more reminders after that.
On the other side of the park is the serious as a tight turd recreate68 group. They sit back with their own megaphones and banners, somewhat filthier seeming than their stoned colleagues. Recreate68 appear ominous and a little stupid, posing in terrorist garb as lawbreakers, in comparison to the active law-breakers playing frisbee smoking illegal drugs in front of them. They seem to be deferring lead of the march to the pot smokers, who will be in front of the march, with anarchists in the rear.
Another pot spokesperson speaks into a microphone: "Okay, please listen up for instructions. Okay, people, if the police ask to search your bag, what do you say?"
The crowd screams NO
"Right, the correct phrase is 'I do not consent to a search'. What about if the police want to ask you a question?"
The crowd murmers YESNOSURENOT?
"Generally we do not speak with the police. If the police want to speak, say 'I want to remain silent and speak with a lawyer.'"
"In the next ten years all 50 states will have medical marijuana laws. Well maybe not Utah (laughs) - so okay maybe 49. Thank you for showing up to march!" (cheers)
I have to mention here how envious I am of Denver's recent pot laws. Possession under an ounce is considered okay, the lucky bastards - though it's still snagged with a few arrests here an there. Regardless, here's hoping this can expand across the country. It's clearly done nothing but sincerely brighten people's opinion of Denver, and I mean that sincerely.
The march is about to begin, megaphone man once again: "Okay - we're about to start. Please DO NOT smoke marijuana in the march -- the police are being very compliant. They don't want any problems. Please comply. This is a non-violent protest. It's an honor to be here today!"
And right, yes, the cops ARE here, aren't they. Each day their presence has become less and less hostile, and even amicable for everyone. Today they're on the perimeter of the park and are totally fine, no weapons in hand, smiling - many probably enjoying the atmosphere.
Still, I could not believe their pre-march announcement. I mean, just when compared to Monday. But to the marchers, they broadcast from a normal police car:
"ATTENTION .. THIS IS THE DENVER POLICE DEPARTMENT. WE ARE HERE TO ASSIST YOU IN YOUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS. OUR GOAL IS TO ASSIST YOU TO THE PUBLIC SPEECH ZONE AT INESCO FIELD. PLEASE FOLLOW OUR LEAD."
Wow, right? Sure, okay - right on. And the march begins. Looking at the back of the street I see the anarchy people. Are they growling?
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